Tactical. Batman. Did any of you really think I wasn’t going to be all over this?
So, it’s been a year since Justice League came out. It’s a bit of a conflicted source of enjoyment, even for me– I enjoyed the film, even though I found it far more flawed than those prescribed to Batman v. Superman. And while the latter’s criticisms will likely fade more as time passes, Justice League will be plagued forever by the “what-ifs” that started the day Snyder stepped down.
One bright spot, that held together essentially two movies messily stapled together, was Ben Affleck’s Batman. As a lifelong Batfan, his performance of the character in movies that weren’t even his alone will remain in my heart and mind as one of the most definitive depictions ever to grace the screen. And I waited in line opening weekend to see the 1989 Batman. Keaton will always have a place at the table, but Affleck is at the head. Oh, you disagree? Fight me.
Not needing to really improve on THE best cinematic costume Batman has ever had, JL merely needed to amp him up a little- not unlike the armor in the previous film. And since the power suit had already been done, a middle ground, where Batman gains some extra protection without sacrificing as much mobility makes perfect sense for fighting parademons. Mezco was able to apply that to their advantage as well, as this figure has the same body suit that all three previous versions made use of.
“Three previous versions.” Man, what a trip that is. Batman can make up the majority of the Justice League basketball team any time he wants, and bench everyone but Superman. I can feel the heat from those angry fence-sitting Mezco “fans” on the horizon, so I ought to remind you that this is true of every BvS/JL toyline to date. Only difference here is that Flash hasn’t come out yet, and there’s no Cyborg pending- and it’s little wonder why, sadly.
But none of that has any bearing on this Batman. He is amazing looking in his armor, comprised of individual pieces for his forearms, upper arms, chest, thighs, knees and shins- and these pieces work together to leave him an impressive amount of range of motion. Much better than I expected, really. Even his abdominal joint allows for some flex under the the torso armor, after I initially thought not. his elbows and knees have great range, and his hips and shoulders are clear by design, so no problems there. I was thinking this was the same base body at first, but man, he feels bigger to me. Maybe it’s just the armor. But as it is, he will fit in the RC Batmobile, best with the canopy up, and also the Movie Masters version- just take your time with the cape. You know, I think he’ll fit the RC one completely with some additional effort, so I might come back to that. I’ll let you know.
Tactical Batman has one of the lightest flowing capes we’ve had yet, with a great shimmer and texture. It’s attached to massive neckpiece, presumably armored, that allows for good range, but sadly limits the headswap options. And truly, that right there is my only criticism of this figure, spoilers. If he had come with an an unmasked head of his own, I’d call it no foul, but as it is, this Batman is always on duty. It’s a good thing both heads look fantastic.
On those heads you have two sets of goggles; after looking at them for way too long, I think one set is better flexed for being on top of his forehead, while the other fits a little better over the eyes, though both are similar enough it’s not a big deal. They peg into the tech detailed sides of each cowl, and can slide up and down pretty well.
Other accessories are returning parts from the previous Batman, like batarangs (including two molded into throwing hands), grappling gun with optional hooks, fists, gripping, relaxed, and trigger hands. New to the loadout are some thermal grenades (they fit in the grip hands well), and a nicely detailed parademon rifle. Like I said before, if only he had a modified Affleck head, I’d call that accessory group a 10/10.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with some headswaps. Ascending Knight’s heads fit the ball joint (if not the neck completely) to a degree you could get away with it. The first thing I wanted to do was fit the Injustice 2 Luthor Wayne prototype mask on hi (thanks VeeBee!) , because that’s very close to my Batman loadout in game, especially with the Ascending Knight belt.
A modified cast of the Armored Batman head looks good on there too, and I even tried a Lee Bermejo head on there- his more armored look in the comic is somewhat similar. All but the Ascending heads took some serious dremelling though, so you have been warned.
So, as Robo would say, at the end of the day, this figure helps console me in the notion that I might never get to see Batfleck cripple people on screen again- because this Batman will eff your figures up. He is kind of a culmination of elements Mezco has learned and honed in their Batman-building efforts, and can easily be one of their best to date.
Until Soveriegn Knight, anyway. But the best of the Batflecks? On a technical score, yeah. I may prefer the simplicity of the original suit, or the insanity of Knightmare, or even the brutality of the armored suit, but this one is a nice jack-of-all-trades that I suspect is going to be one folks regret not getting.